Happening Now

Hotline #782-A

July 21, 1993

H.R.2490, the 1994 DOT appropriations bill, was expected on the House floor today. However, there has been a delay to at least tomorrow, and possibly longer. Delicate negotiations between Transportation Appropriations Chairman Carr (Mich.), Public Works Chairman Mineta (Cal.), and Rules Chairman Moakley (Mass.) are continuing and will determine when the vote takes place.

In a major blow to Amtrak, it appears that Chairman Carr will not oppose the amendment by Representative Tauzin (La.) to give the Coast Guard $20 million from Amtrak operations. Rep. Lucien Blackwell (D.-Pa.) is distributing a "Dear Colleague" letter to all House members opposing the amendment. Please encourage pro-Amtrak Representatives to sign onto the Blackwell letter and to oppose any floor amendment to cut Amtrak funding.

We also expect an amendment from Representatives Schenk (D.-Cal.) and Lehman (D.-Cal.) to strike the anti-Thruway bus language in H.R.2490. Ask your Representative to co-sign and support that amendment.

Floods continue to disrupt Amtrak service. The California Zephyr is running non-stop between Omaha and Chicago on the Chicago & North Western, but is subject to significant delay. The California Zephyr will not return to the Burlington route may reopen around July 28. The Southwest Chief is running again to Kansas City, but probably will not run to Chicago until early August. The Union Pacific is open again in Missouri, restoring all Kansas City-St. Louis service. The Illinois Zephyr is still running only to Quincy. The Texas Eagle is delayed between St. Louis and Poplar Bluff due to a detour. All other trains are running normally, though with much heavier freight traffic on those lines due to detours.